Discover 10 top tips to help guide small business owners as their home service company generates more leads, reaches more people, adds employees, and makes more revenue.
Operational efficiency is the name of the game when you're in the process of growing a home service company. However, with so many plates to spin, knowing what to prioritize can feel confusing. If you're in the process of growing your home improvement business, there are some universal priorities, no matter which vertical you're in.
In this article, you'll discover advice that applies to all small business owners, no matter which stage of growth they're at. From mission and value statements to marketing strategies, you'll learn the essentials of efficient, effective growth.
CraftJack can help you optimize your business with lead generation. Sign up today and start receiving more home service leads.
Why Start A Home Improvement Business?
The most popular reason for starting a home improvement business is believing you can do a better job than your current boss. Sound familiar? Most entrepreneurs in the home service industries are talented, experienced contractors. They understand the market they plan on operating within, have a few contacts, and take pride in doing exceptional work every time.
If you've got a strong work ethic, a good grasp of numbers, and an unflinching drive to succeed, starting a home service company is a great idea. You get to build a brand, set your own schedule, choose your clientele, and perform work to standards you define yourself.
What Are The Most Profitable Home Service Businesses?
Say you're at the beginning of your small business ownership journey. You're probably wondering, "What are some profitable, easy-to-start businesses?" Knowing which industries make the most money is a good idea when deciding whether you remain an employee or become an employer. If you're in a tough market, it might be more sensible to re-skill before going it alone.
Some profitable examples of service businesses include:
- Kitchen remodeling
- Bathroom remodeling
- New windows and doors
- House painting
- Electrician services
- Flooring services
- Whole home remodeling
- Loft conversions
- Basement conversions
Keep in mind that market conditions are ideal for new home service business owners. Demand is high, and the number of qualified tradespeople is relatively low. In light of an increasingly inaccessible housing market, people are opting for renovations over new home purchases.
If you're a skilled tradesperson and you're not already running your own business, now is a great time to start.
10 Steps To Optimize My Business
As a small business owner, the responsibility of managing growth lies on your shoulders. And although there are a lot of factors that combine to make a home improvement company successful, you can bring them all together with hard work and a smart strategy.
Below are 10 core components that all successful small business owners pay close attention to.
1. Develop Your Mission And Values
When you start out, every element of your home service company depends on you. As such, you must have clearly defined goals and a mission that's clear for employees and customers to see and understand.
In today's world, more than ever, people are looking to hire contractors and work with companies that are aligned with their values. Corporate social responsibility is no longer a buzzword or fringe idea; it's mainstream. Ways to show you care about the community you operate in include:
- Running a green business to show your commitment to the future of the planet. ENERGY STAR certification and LEED certification are just a couple of ways to demonstrate your green credentials.
- Provide employees with paid volunteering days and take opportunities to work with local nonprofits.
- Make using sustainable products and processes part of your brand identity.
Partnering with nonprofits and being socially responsible often come with tax breaks and other perks, so it's a real win-win.
2. Start Small And Expand
While it's always tempting to go all out and show off the extent of your expertise as a new business owner, it's not sensible. In the beginning, focus on one or two core services and put your heart and soul into doing them well.
With a highly streamlined operation, spending on marketing and stock are reduced and risk is much lower. All efforts can go into promoting and refining those core services. Plus, it's easy to do a perfect job every time and get your reputation off the ground.
3. Hire Employees Strategically
When the time comes to hire employees to work for your home service company, there's no room for accidents. Remember, one of your biggest assets is your workforce, and ROI is nonnegotiable if you want to be profitable.
For example, if you're positioned at the lowest price point within your industry, aim to find freshly qualified, inexperienced workers with a strong work ethic and desire to succeed. Experience comes at a premium, so there's a good chance more qualified staff might be out of budget. But that doesn't mean you should hire anyone to do the job. Attitude and drive are essential when working with less skilled workers.
On the other hand, if you're charging premium prices, make sure you have a team led by qualified, experienced workers. It's important that your team's attitude and values are aligned with the brand, but proven experience is vital. Invest in training managers and supervisors to ensure there are layers of quality control and accountability.
4. Focus On Customer Retainment
Every savvy small business owner knows a new customer costs a lot more to acquire than an existing one. If you work in bathroom or kitchen renovations, this might seem tricky, but with a little creativity, you can find a solution.
In the above instance, you might consider keeping a product line of fashionable faucets, fittings, and appliances in-house. Use a smart email campaign to keep current customers informed and making purchases from your company throughout the year. Other ways of increasing customer retention include:
- Prioritizing customer experience
- Using a customer relations management system
- Developing a customer loyalty program
- Engaging with reviews and customers on social media
- Underpromising and overdelivering instead of overpromising and underdelivering
What's more, if you ever extend your service line, your previous customers should be the first to hear about it.
5. Put Employee Experience First
When it comes to running a business, your team is your frontline ambassador. They're seeing customers every day, providing the main impression of your company alongside your branding and online presence. If you have a team full of unmotivated, unhappy folks, clients will notice.
On the other hand, if you take great care of your team, have a code of conduct, and train them to meet your company's standards, clients will be astounded. Treating your staff right means your staff treats customers right, and the human touch is often the difference between being memorable and getting a referral or being forgettable.
6. Exploit The Internet
In today's digital-led marketplace, companies that don't capitalize on digital marketing opportunities are missing out big-time. Not only do you need a website, but it should be well-designed, registered with Google Business Profile, and optimized for SEO and mobile devices.
You should consider writing a blog and connecting with fellow local business owners to get backlinks. Social media and local directory profiles help expand your reach and establish your company as trustworthy in the public's eyes. And the best thing about the internet is its unparalleled ability to provide real-time actionable data about the level of success of each campaign you make.
Trying to grow your business without conducting extensive research into your customers and closest competitors is like trying to fix something in the dark. Through research, you can learn about your current customers as well as markets you're interested in tapping into. The better you understand your customers, the easier it is to develop marketing campaigns that appeal to them.
Researching competitors ensures you're offering something unique and memorable. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of your local competition, you can position yourself accordingly within the marketplace.
8. Use Analytics To Make Data-Based Decisions
One of the best things about operating a business from a website is the abundance of data it provides. In the not-so-distant past, marketing success was largely measured by guesswork. Now, with the ability to track who visits and engages with your website and social media pages, you can measure success based on hard data.
The potential this has to help small business owners is unprecedented. As soon as you can see what works and what doesn't, you can cut funding to strategies that don't work and funnel resources into those that do.
9. Be Adaptable
The only certainty in life and in business is uncertainty. Current events, fashion, fads, and new discoveries combine to make the world entirely unpredictable. What works for generating leads one year might be entirely unsuccessful the next year, and you need to be ready for any changes at all times.
If you're just starting out, being adaptable is crucial. Never feel shy about shelving strategies that don't work and focusing on new ideas. Experimenting with what works in the beginning garners better results than foolishly sticking to a strategy that's not generating results.
10. Network With Other Business Owners
Whether you attend local events or curate them yourself, meeting with fellow business owners is essential for growth. You'll learn ideas from people in similar fields, create opportunities to share audiences, and form long-lasting relationships that could benefit you for years to come.
Attending or hosting local fundraisers and community events is a great way to get known. You could sponsor a small local sports team or partner with small business owners in similar fields. The more you get your name out there, the stronger your brand becomes and the more likely local customers are to associate your company name with the services you offer.
Considerations For Small Business Owners
According to research from the Harvard Business Review, eight factors play the biggest role in whether a company succeeds or fails. Half of them relate to the business as a whole, while others are specific to the business owner.
The four company factors that matter most for success are:
- Proficient small business budgeting, including excellent cash flow management and borrowing power
- Having the correct number and quality of people on your team and the most suitable company structure for the size and scope of your company
- Being able to intelligently leverage technology, particularly when it comes to planning, information, and control systems
- Positioning your company accurately within your industry and local market, specifically with regards to network, customer relations, supplier relations, and market share
Small Business Owner Factors
The four factors relating to you as a business owner that determine success are:
- Your personal goals for yourself and your company
- Your aptitude at operational management, including managing pipelines, producing, inventing, and marketing
- Your managerial ability when it comes to being self-motivated, hard-working, and competent at delegating to your team members
- Your strategic ability to forecast for the future and make decisions that play to your company's strengths and prevent its weaknesses from being exploited
It's important to remember that your priorities as a small business owner will change as your company grows. For example, being a Jack-of-all-trades, in-the-trenches worker is crucial when you start off and only have yourself to rely on. However, once you grow and hire a team, you need to be better at delegating than being a frontline worker.
Outsource vs. In-House
There are important decisions to make when choosing in-house or outsourced staff for various roles. The best advice is to play to your strengths. For example, if you're not great with numbers, hire an accountant. If you're excellent at sales and operations but struggle with organization, hire a construction office manager.
There's no perfect formula when it comes to running a business because each company owner has different strengths. However, by focusing on the above 10 strategies and fine-tuning them for your unique business, you can set yourself up for sustainable but efficient long-term growth.